Security guards and the police were in for a surprise after a shoplifting-turned-robbery incident at a Home Depot in North Seattle.
On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, Home Depot security guards confronted two men who were acting suspiciously in the power tool section of the store. The guards suspected the men were stealing valuable battery packs that are used to power cordless tools.
According to a Seattle blotter report, the two men attacked the guards by “throwing elbows” and one of the men threw a backpack. Inside the backpack was a live ferret.
The two men escaped the store, but police officers found one of the men a few blocks away and arrested him after they found a battery pack inside his pants and discovered he had several warrants.
The 29-year-old man said he didn't know the owner of the backpack and ferret, stating that he had only met the man a few hours earlier. The backpack/ferret-owner is still at large. The ferret was turned over to the Seattle Animal Shelter and should be renamed “Charge.”
When Does Shoplifting Become Robbery?
According to Washington state laws, shoplifting falls under theft statutes and the severity of the charge depends on the value of the items stolen and/or if a scuffle ensues involving security guards or law enforcement. Shoplifting charges can also be elevated to robbery if a suspect has previous warrants.
RCW 9A.56.050 outlines the most minor definition of theft as theft in the third degree:
(1) A person is guilty of theft in the third degree if he or she commits theft of property or services which (a) does not exceed seven hundred fifty dollars in value, or (b) includes ten or more merchandise pallets, or ten or more beverage crates, or a combination of ten or more merchandise pallets and beverage crates.
(2) Theft in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.
Washington Defense Attorney
Being accused of shoplifting is often embarrassing due to its public nature. And depending on the circumstances of the alleged shoplifting, a prosecutor will try to escalate the charges to robbery. That's why it is in your best interest to retain a creative defense attorney like Steve Karimi to fight the charges you are facing. If you or your child has been accused of shoplifting, call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form to get started on your free consultation.